Turkey urges liberation of Palestine at OIC forum in Jakarta

Turkish deputy prime minister joins Organisation of Islamic Cooperation delegates to demand end of Israel’s unlawful occupation of Palestinian territories

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus (R) meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (2nd L) during a bilateral meeting within the 5th Extraordinary Summit of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 7, 2016.

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has declared Turkey's strong support for an independent Palestine state at the opening of a summit of Muslim nations in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on Monday.

Kurtulmus said that Turkey will continue to stand for the Palestinian cause "until it is resolved," speaking to the 5th Extraordinary Islamic Summit on Palestine and Al Quds, which is organised by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

"The Palestine should be supported by international media, [and] every Muslim around the world should go and visit Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque," Kurtulmus pointed out.

Earlier on Monday during the meetings, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo also stressed that his country will always support the cause of Palestine.

"Israel must immediately stop the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and its aggression," the president affirmed, adding that his country has always been committed to supporting Palestine's independence through concrete measures.

"The OIC was set up to help Palestine so the OIC should be part of the Palestinian solution. If, it's not, the OIC’s existence will no longer be relevant. Once again, not relevant," he underlined, according to the Indonesian news agency Antara.

However, he has also invoked that Palestine must first be unified within itself indicating that "Indonesia will do whatever it can to secure this unity."

Indonesia -- which does not recognize Israel -- is hosting the two-day summit of the world’s largest intra-Islamic body at a time of increased tensions in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians.

Since October, Israeli security forces have killed at least 172 Palestinians, 114 of whom Israel says were assailants, while most others were shot dead during protests. About 28 Israelis have died in stabbings, shootings and car rammings.

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas conveyed his gratitude toward countries supporting Palestine's independence during his opening speech at the summit, stressing that they need “international support against Israel’s unlawful sanctions.”

"We aim to raise awareness of the problems faced by Palestine and its people," Abbas added.

Later on Monday, the OIC is expected to announce a declaration on pursuit of peace in Palestine.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said that the two main documents -- one concerns a resolution containing a set of political steps urged by member countries, and another one concerns the Jakarta Declaration, which addresses political initiatives to be pursued on liberation of Palestine -- were discussed by the 605 delegates coming from 57 different countries during the summit.

"The government and people of Indonesia are ready to pledge $1.5 million annually for the next few years. In addition, Indonesia also recently contributed a $1 million grant through the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)," she said.

Turkey's deputy prime minister reiterated that the international community should recognize Palestine under its legitimate borders, which were drawn prior to the Six-Day War of 1967, and East Jerusalem its capital.

Kurtulmus also informed that the struggle of the Palestinian people will be discussed during the annual gathering of the OIC in Istanbul on April 14-15.

Following the meeting, Kurtulmus went on to closed-to-the press meetings with Abbas and Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla, respectively.

TRTWorld, AA